ATLANTA-Winners of two straight and six of seven, Georgia State will look to continue its streak facing UNCW on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. from Trask Coliseum in Wilmington, N.C. The Panthers have been outscoring opponents by more than nine points per game and hitting nearly 10 three-pointers per game during the stretch.
(12-12, 7-4 CAA) got a record setting performance from R.J. Hunter, a
Freshman All-America candidate on Saturday afternoon in its 20-point win over Old Dominion. Hunter set a career-high with 38 points, the seventh most in GSU history, hitting 10 three-pointers, most in GSU history and tied for the most in CAA history.
Following the performance, he was named the Lou Henson National Player of the Week along with CAA Player and Rookie of the Week, the first time a freshman won both awards since Drexel’s Chris Fouch accomplished it on Feb. 8, 2010.
“Our team is playing with a ton of confidence right now and the basket looks twice the size for some of our guys,” commented head coach Ron Hunter. “As special as R.J.’s game was on Saturday, Manny Atkins just missed a double-double, Devonta had a career-high eight assists and Rashaad Richardson came away with five steals. It just shows how good our entire team is playing right now.”
Wednesday’s game can be heard live on WRAS-FM 88.5 beginning with the Panther Pregame Show at 6:30 p.m. with the ‘Voice of the Panthers’ Dave Cohen calling the action. Live stats and live video will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com.
As Hunter mentioned, during the Panthers winning stretch, it has been a true team effort. R.J. Hunter, who has earned rookie of the week honors in each of the last two weeks, is averaging 20.7 points and 4.6 rebounds during the stretch, shooting 46.9 percent from the floor and has made 23 three-pointers.
Redshirt-junior Manny Atkins is averaging 16.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, shooting 45.5 percent from three-point range and 97.0 percent from the free throw line, while dishing out 19 assists in those seven games. Junior Devonta White has chipped in 13.4 points per game during the run, dishing out 5.3 assists per game, including a career-high eight against ODU.
Rashaad Richardson is adding 9.7 points per game, shooting 47.2 percent from the floor. Freshman Markus Crider is adding 4.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, including a career-high 10 against UNCW, while shooting 61.9 percent from the floor. Senior James Vincent has also stepped up, collecting 5.4 rebounds in the stretch.
“When you have a lot of talented players come together as a team and play with confidence, they can be hard to beat,” continued Hunter. “I like the way we are playing right now, but we have to stay within ourselves and continue to take it one game at a time if we want to reach out goals.”
R.J. Hunter, the leading candidate for CAA Rookie of the Year and in contention for CAA Player of the Year and All-CAA First Team honors, continues to lead all CAA freshmen in scoring and rebounding and is one of just five freshmen in the country averaging at least 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
Hunter, who was named CAA Rookie of the Week for a sixth time on Monday while collecting his first CAA Player of the Week, is averaging the most points of any CAA freshmen since the 1999-2000 season. He is also on pace to score the most points of any GSU freshmen ever. With seven games remaining, he has scored 416 points and is just 99 points shy Matt O’Brien’s 1989-90 mark of 515.
R.J. Hunter, the only son of head coach Ron Hunter is averaging a team-high 17.3 points per game, fifth in the CAA and 70th in the nation, to go along with 5.5 rebounds per game, tied for the 15th best mark in the conference. He is also collecting 2.4 three-pointers per game, fourth best in the league and shooting 37.2 percent from beyond the arc, also fourth in the conference.
Hunter is also among the CAA leaders in free throw percentage, steals, blocked shots and defensive rebounds.
Junior point guard Devonta White, who earned Preseason All-CAA Second Team honors before the season and was also named to the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award Watch List by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, is fourth in the CAA in minutes played (35.9) and tied for fifth in steals per game, averaging 1.7 per game.
White is second on the team in scoring, averaging 14.0 points per game, 11th in the CAA, while dishing out 3.8 assists, fourth in the league. The junior has dished out 50 assists in his last nine games, including three games of at least seven assists.
One of three team captains, White, who missed 10 games during his freshman season due to an injury, is just 123 points away from becoming the 17th Panther with 1,000 career points. He is just off pace to eclipse that mark by the end of the year, needing to average 17.6 points per game in the remaining regular season contests.
Redshirt-junior Manny Atkins fell just short of another double-double against Old Dominion on Saturday, scoring 16 points and grabbing nine rebounds. He has missed four double-doubles this season by just one rebound and another four double-doubles by just two rebounds. Atkins collected his first double-double of the season at Drexel on Jan. 26.
He has been nearly unstoppable from the free throw line in conference play, making 39-of-42, a 92.9 percentage, the best mark in the league. He is shooting 85.0 percent from the line for the season, the second best mark in the CAA.
From nearby Tucker, Ga., the Virginia Tech transfer is averaging 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game this season, both 12th in the CAA. He leads the CAA in three-point field goal percentage, hitting 42.2 percent from beyond the arc and is sixth in the CAA making 1.8 three-pointers per game.
Lone senior James Vincent played in his 110th game on Saturday to stand along in tenth in GSU history. He is third on GSU’s all-time blocked shots list with 119 and his 57 blocked shots this season are the fourth most in a single season in GSU history.
He is leading the CAA averaging 2.4 blocked shots per game, which also ranks 32nd in the NCAA this year.
UNCW (8-14, 3-7 CAA) is led by All-CAA honoree Keith Rendelman who is averaging 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Chris Dixon is second on the team in scoring, averaging 9.4 points per game and has a team high 49 assists.
The Seahawks have lost three straight following an 81-68 loss to Towson on Monday night. The Panthers defeated UNCW earlier this season in the Sports Arena, 81-63 en route to their fifth straight win in the series.
The Panthers will return home to face Towson at Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Sports Arena. It will be Alumni Day as all former Georgia State players are encouraged to come back to campus as the Panthers take on the Tigers.